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3 tools aid Outlook cleanup tasks

by on
in Centerpiece,Microsoft Email Outlook,Office Technology

Archiving

Are you afraid of archiving Outlook items because you don’t know what really happens to them? Archiving is simple: If the date you last accessed an item (not necessarily created) is older than the archive threshold (6 months, 12 months, etc.), it moves from your primary Outlook file to an archive location. So what? Doesn’t it take up the same space? It does, but not in your primary Outlook file.

Like all databases, Outlook can become corrupted. Archiving helps you keep the main database clutter-free and manageable. Archives can be searched just as you would any other folder. You don’t need any special steps to retrieve items as long as you are connected to the network or computer where it’s stored. Archives should appear at the same “level” as your main Outlook account.

To set up your archive options:

1. Click File, then Options.
2. Choose the Advanced category and look for the AutoArchive Settings button to the right.
3. Click it, and set your default archive parameters. Keep in mind that once you do this, you can right-click any folder, select Properties and set up unique, folder-specific AutoArchive settings.

Conversation cleanup

Do you have a 150-foot discussion thread taking up too much space in your inbox? You know, the one where everyone has hit reply to all and there are dozens of messages already in someone else’s message? You’d like to have just the minimum number of emails needed to maintain the integrity of the thread, but where do you start? First, change to Conversation View:

1. Click View, then in the Conversations group, click Show as Conversations. If it’s grayed out, select Date in the Arrangement group.

2. Choose the All Folders option to ensure that Sent mail is included.

Messages now appear grouped to­­gether by conversation. Small white arrows to the left of the message will indicate that the group can be expanded. To reduce it to the minimum number of messages needed to contain the en­­tire conversation, click the Clean Up button in the Delete group on the Home tab.  Redundant messages go to your Deleted Items folder. A redundant message is any message that is included in its entirety in another message. Anything that makes it unique, such as an attachment, will keep it separately in the conversation.

Reply and delete quick step

Keep the 150-foot discussion thread from happening by using the Reply & Delete Quick Step. On the Home tab, Quick Steps group, you’ll see the Reply & Delete button. Say you received a message asking where you’d like to go to lunch. You can click the Reply & Delete Quick Step button and it will create a reply with the original message included. It will, at the same time, move the original message to the Deleted Items folder. Like shortcuts? Right-click the Quick Step and choose Edit Reply & Delete. At the bottom of the dialog box, under Optional Settings, choose a Ctrl+Shift+n keyboard shortcut.

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